In Alaska, expect anything

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 19:00

I must say that Alaska is a downright persnickety state. This state does things just to prove people wrong and “make life interesting.” In most places you know that when you wash your car it will rain. Well, Alaska goes above and beyond to prove that it is one contrary state.

Over the two winters prior to this past one, I felt there were certain things I could expect. One of them was that snow would cover my lawn from, at the very least, November to April. In January of this year, I was astounded to see more grass than I did on my birthday (at the end of April) the year before.

During last year’s record snow fall, I looked up information on record snow falls in Alaska. I noticed a trend, as did several weather forecasters on television: record years seemed to happen in twos. As the 2011-2012 year wasn’t quite up to the record, I just knew this last winter would also be record breaking. While glad that we weren’t pounded for a second year in a row, I felt yet again foiled by this mischievous state. Then when I found out it did indeed break a record — longest snow season — I just had to laugh. Alaska just has to do things its own way.

I pay my older son to snow-blow my driveway. The deal is that during the snow season he gets paid ten dollars a week to keep my driveway snow free. If he doesn’t have to snow blow he gets paid ten dollars. If he has to snow blow seven times a week, he gets paid ten dollars. Well, around May 15 my husband informed him that his contract was up. It surely wasn’t going to snow again now that it was mid-May. My son woke up extra early on May 18 to blow the snow off the driveway “before it melted” to ensure he got one extra week of pay. You can all join me in blaming my husband for that particular snow storm.

Last week, I overheard a conversation about mosquitoes. People were noting how few there seemed to be. It was theorized that the cause of the unusually low numbers of pests were due to the late snow. Possibly many mosquitoes were killed off by the cold. I was thinking that would be nice. However, after being pestered by multitudes of mosquitoes since, I’ve determined that Alaska was just waiting for that conversation to let blood-suckers out. Since then I have seen more mosquitoes at a time and the mosquitoes have been more aggressive than the past two summers.

Before moving to Alaska I was excited by the thought of cool summers. I was told, “Yes, it gets warm in Fairbanks, but where you’re moving, it’ll rarely be above 70.” So this summer’s heat wave was a surprise to me. Not to my van though. It decided to play along with Alaska’s version of Murphy’s Law and my air-conditioning was no longer cold. After thirteen days of over 70 degree weather in Anchorage, I finally had time to get my van into the shop. Clouds formed overhead as I waited for my van to be ready. I just had to laugh as raindrops splashed on my windshield. he rain was cooling things off to where the a/c made the van too chilly. Now that it worked, I had to turn it off. Once I got home and no longer needed my van’s a/c, Alaska turned the heat back up on Eagle River.

The moral of this story is that I have learned to predict nothing and expect anything from this crazy state.


Eagle River’s Lori Spears is the wife of a captain in the U.S. Army.

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